Monday, December 16, 2013

Dear Dad,

A while back, Monica (our cousin) posted this picture of you on facebook. I looked at it again today because thirteen years ago you passed away. There are so many sad memories that this day could bring out; especially when we look at all the medical problems you had and all the years you dealt with them but this picture tells a different story of who you were and maybe more importantly, what you gave to us and who you still are today.

Obviously, your passion for the outdoors has shaped who I am and has paved a road for me that I am happy following. I have built my life around taking advantage of every opportunity to do and share those things you didn't get the chance to do. I hope you're proud and I hope somehow, you've been able to enjoy those opportunities with me. But there is more.

I know I wasn't the easiest kid to deal with and although I could dwell on that and focus on the guilt that comes sometimes when I look back at our arguments or how we fought over things like weeding the garden or doing valve jobs on your car, I want to tell you that I appreciate those times and more so, I appreciate the lessons learned; not so much about how to tear a motor apart but the character traits you exemplified.

You had a short memory, Dad and I would like to thank you for that. We had some doosies but what I took away from those fights is how quickly you would forgive me and move on. We could be completely busting each other's asses one minute and the next you would be driving me to my bow-stand, waiting for hours for me just so I could have the opportunity to spend time in the woods to get away for a while. I have worked a lot with challenging kids on my journey and that is one thing I have taken from our relationship that has helped me a ton. I have been thanked for the lessons and the example I have been to these kids but what they don't get is that you are more responsible for that than anyone could know.

The bottom line, Dad is that I don't want you to think your time here was wasted or worse, that somehow you failed. You didn't. I'm not perfect and there are definitely things I can work on, (we all can,) but I am proud of where I am and I have you to thank.

Peace, Dad. I hope you enjoyed the game yesterday. I love you,

Keep 'em where they live...

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